• Work began recently on the Vassar Street site of the new undergraduate dormitory, Simmons Hall. Portions of the West Parking Lot have been closed off and the concrete torn to rubble.

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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Undergraduate dorm to be named Simmons Hall, after donors


The new 350-student undergraduate residence on Vassar Street will be called Simmons Hall in honor of Richard P. Simmons (SB 1953) and family in recognition of their major support of student life and campus activities.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in December. The $40 million dormitory is scheduled to open in September 2002.

In donating $20 million to MIT last November, Mr. Simmons said the new Sports and Fitness Center and the undergraduate residence are examples of important steps that MIT is taking toward developing a new campus environment. "For MIT to continue to provide the kind of educational experience [necessary] to retain its worldwide reputation as an outstanding university, it must be willing to allocate resources specifically focused on quality of life issues at MIT," he said.

In addition to the students' quarters, the new residence will have suites to accommodate a housemaster, associate housemaster, graduate resident advisors, and accommodations for visiting artists and scholars.

Incorporated into the design are public and private spaces for residents, including study lounge areas and computer rooms. The building is designed in an open plan -- open to light and air, and open to residents who will live, eat, study and be entertained within its spaces.

The project was designed by Steven Holl Associates and Perry Dean Rogers & Partners.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 25, 2000.


Topics: Campus buildings and architecture

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